D.C. Circuit snuffs challenge over marijuana classification

, The National Law Journal

   |3 Comments

A federal appeals court in Washington has upheld the dismissal of a challenge over the government's classification of marijuana as a top-tier dangerous drug.

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What's being said

  • Former Prosecutor

    Back in 1970, when Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act, they temporarily labeled marijuana a "Schedule I substance". But Congress realizing that more information was needed about marijuana before permanently labeling it Schedule I, created a presidential commission to review the research and recommend a long-term strategy.The Shafer Commission, or the Nixon appointed National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse was commissioned to determine what classification the drug should receive. Although it was stacked with persons whom Nixon felt would be tough on drugs (and they were), their ultimate conclusion was that "Marihuana's relative potential for harm to the vast majority of individual users and its actual impact on society does not justify a social policy designed to seek out and firmly punish those who use it." Further, the Appellate Court's opinion that states there is "no currently accepted medical use for marijuana in the United States" ignores not only all of the doctors who prescribe marijuana in the US, but the studies their decisions are based upon. Including a 1999 review by the Institute of Medicine, a part of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation's most prestigious scientific advisory agency, which found marijuana to be "moderately well suited for particular conditions, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and AIDS wasting." There are actually so many scientific medical articles on the subject that just listing them would be a herculean effort. Needless to say, however, is the fact that with your eyes tightly closed, you will never see the evidence before you.

  • Phila. Lawyer

    The U.S. Govt. itself owns a patent, #6,630,507, which states that THC "...has been shown to be neuroprotective in cell cultures". The 38 page patent, as well as other prior patents and reports cited therein extoll the medical benefits of THC and other cannabinoids as free radical scavengers and neuroprotectants. The patent claims as it's "invention" cannabinoids produced without the psychoactive effect so that it can be administered in very large doses to prevent damage from acute ischemic attacks, etc. It appears that the Joseph Elford was correct and that the Federal Government speaketh with forked tongue.

  • Spook

    It's too bad the DEA doesn't have to provide any evidence in support of its scheduling marijuana into Schedule 1.

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